Feeds

Seagate sees big drive capacity jump coming

Doesn't fear NAND encroachment

Application security programs and practises

NAND Encroachment? Have no fear

Why will drive shipments be unaffected by customers deserting spinning rust for flash chips? Seagate still expects its hybrid Momentus XT, the disk drive with a 4GB NAND cache, to go gangbusters with a million drives shipped a quarter by the end of 2011. These are drives that are chosen instead of SSDs. Secondly, the installed PC base will rise and need bulk capacity disk drives to store all the digital media and general file stuff users accumulate. But these two factors are not the main thrust of Seagate's argument; that is a NAND manufacturing capacity one.

Even though users might wish to and could afford to adopt SSD storage on their computers the lovely stuff can't be made in sufficient quantities. Seagate quotes an industry estimate that there will be a total notebook HDD capacity of 95EB (exabytes) shipped in 2011 with 69EB in 2010. It says - you can almost see the glee on its face - that just 11EB of flash was made in 2010, with around 93 per cent of shipments used for smartphones and other embedded applications. This left a pathetic 0.77EB (770PB) for notebooks, which would have allowed around one per cent of notebook HDD storage to be replaced by SSDs last year.

There will be a minor boost in NAND fab capacity this year, maybe enabling 2EB to be used for notebooks. Any demand for notebook SSDs over this amount will cause shortages which will send prices up, ultimately crushing the demand. What Seagate seems to be saying is: "NAND flash may well be preferable to HDDs for notebooks but it's supply-constrained so we are alright for the time being."

It also claims there are high failure rates in the enterprise SSD market, up to an amazing 35 per cent, so there won't be as much gulping of fast Fibre Channel and SAS enterprise drives by flash as expected. Any flash impact on Seagate's revenues will be much less than some analysts think, and Seagate will gain a revenue boost from having higher capacity drives on the market before anybody else.

Apparently, Seagate will used its own heads in these new disk drive products and not TDK ones. Another interesting point is that the Seagate/Samsung collaboration will result in a third generation Seagate SSD in the second half of 2011. Although Samsung will have helped developed the product, Seagate has sole selling rights to the product for 18 months - after which Samsung can sell any competitive offering it wants to. Whoever negotiated that partnership contract did a good job for Seagate, and Samsung must expect Seagate to ship land-filling amounts of the stuff to make the contract acceptable in Korea.

Seagate may be under-estimating the NAND fab capacity increases coming. EE Times is running a story saying that Hynix, Micron, Samsung, and Toshiba are all increasing fab capacities, with an industry analyst suggesting total bit production could rise 71 per cent in 2011 over 2010. This does not square with Seagate's numbers. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Attack of the clones: Oracle's latest Red Hat Linux lookalike arrives
Oracle's Linux boss says Larry's Linux isn't just for Oracle apps anymore
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.